Meek family of York

James Meek (1790-1862) was born on 14 Febrruay 1790, the son of James Meek, a North Riding farmer at Brompton. In 1803 he was apprenticed to Joseph Agar, a York WM currier, and entered into business in 1812 as a currier of Goodramgate, York His extensive business interests included being a director of the Flint Glass Co., chairman of the York City & County Bank and trustee of the York Savings Bank. As chairman of the York Cemetery Company he was interred in the vault below the chapel portico following his death on 13 March 1862. A Wesleyan, in public life he was elected an alderman in 1835 and was Lord Mayor in 1836, 1849 and 1851.

His son Sir James Meek (1815-1891), was born at Clifton, York on 28 June 1815 and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, leaving to enter the family business. Like his father he had extensive business interests including the chairmanship of the York City & County Bank and chairmanship of the Linton Lock Navigation. From 1849 to 1853 he was a Liberal councillor for the Bootham Ward, before becoming an alderman, and was Lord Mayor in 1855, 1865 and 1866. A Freemason, other public offices he held included that of chairman of the York Lunatic Asylum and governor of Bootham Asylum, committee member of the York Penitentiary Society, vice-president of the York Institute, and Captain Commandant of the 1st West Yorkshire Rifle volunteers. As a Wesleyan sympathiser with the Wesleyan Reformers, about 1853 he led his class into Primitive Methodism, at a time when the WM Connexion was struggling in York, and helped secure their new chapel, Ebenezer. Little Stonegate opened in 1851, later replaced by Petty Memorial, Monkgate. Knighted in 1869, he died at Cheltenham on 10 January 1891 but was interred in the York Cemetery.

The next generation appear to have become Anglicans.

  • WM Magazine, 1867, pp.103-9
  • John Lyth, Glimpses of Early Methodism in York (York & London, 1885), p.262
  • York Gazette (Saturday, 17 January 1891)
  • William Camidge, Primitive Methodism; its introduction and development in the City of York (York, 1901)
  • H.B. Kendall, The Origin and History of the Primitive Methodist Church (1906), vol. 2 p.60